A BONHILL man with a string of road traffic offences – and who was once convicted for being in possession of two knives – has become a cabbie.

John Hepburn has been deemed suitable by the licensing committee to be in possession of a taxi driver’s licence despite his criminal record.

In March 2003, Mr Hepburn was fined £100 for driving in Alexandria without a licence and insurance.

In May 2004, he was jailed for four months for being in possession of two knives in Bonhill. Police on patrol saw Mr Hepburn, and approached him before discovering he had a black hunting knife and a kitchen knife on him.

In January 2005, he was fined £350 and banned from the roads for driving under the influence of alcohol.

On a separate occasion, the applicant was fined £400 after he collided with a parked car on Pappert Estate, damaging it, before leaving the area. When he was traced by police, officers discovered that he had no driving licence or insurance.

In March 2007, he was fined £335 and disqualified from the roads for driving with no insurance.

And in March 2016, he was fined another £100 for driving with a provisional licence without supervision.

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Mr Hepburn was brought before the licensing committee on Wednesday to explain himself. He said: “I was going through a hard time, but I have turned my life around. I have a family and kids. I don’t know why I did it but I feel like I am a changed person.

“With regards to the weapons, I told the police I was carrying two knives. I realise that my behaviour was stupid.”

Chairman Jonathon McColl asked the applicant to prove that he had changed.

Cllr McColl said: “In most of these offences you were convicted for not having a licence. Right up until March 2016. Can you prove to me that you are a changed man?”

Mr Hepburn responded: “I have grown up. I am more careful and realise the error of my ways. My family made me realise how silly I had been.”

Following the discussion, members agreed to grant the licence for one year.